PORTLAND, OREGON, April 26, 2012, (LifeSiteNews.com) – A homosexual activist group calling itself “Angry Queers” claimed responsibility for smashing nine windows in a church known for teaching traditional sexual morality early Tuesday morning.
“Upon arriving at the church, we discovered nine separate windows had been smashed in with rocks, including two beautiful 100-year-old stained glass windows,” wrote Tim Smith, pastor of the Portland campus of Mars Hill Church. “We estimate the damage to be several thousand dollars.”
The vandals sent an e-mail to local television station KOIN-TV stating they took the action, because “Mars Hill is notoriously anti-gay and anti-woman.”
Church members say they hold to “traditional Bible-based views on homosexuality.”
Eyewitnesses told police they saw six young men wearing “dark, mask-like partial face coverings” flee the scene around 2:30 a.m.
“This certainly saddens us greatly as our pastors in Portland have made many efforts to build relationships with the homosexual community in Portland,” Smith said. “Even though they chose to destroy our property and scare away people trying to worship Jesus, we wish them no harm.”
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The Oregonian reported “black-clad demonstrators…some of whom wore kerchiefs to cover their faces, shouted profanities at adults and children” last October, when the new campus of the Seattle-based church opened. About 20 protesters blocked the entrance and screamed, “Shame on you homophobes. You’re not welcome here. You’re going to burn in Hell.”
The Portland location of Mars Hill Church opened last September, one of 14 nationwide satellites under nationally known pastor Mark Driscoll of Seattle. The church postponed its opening last September after learning LGBT activists planned a “kiss-in” at their first ceremony.
Police believe the same activists who smashed the windows also struck a nearby U.S. Bank branch Tuesday morning. The bank had been vandalized in February just before the Occupy Portland protest.
The latest series of attacks comes just days after the Obama administration’s Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) ruled that historic Civil Rights provisions allow transgender employees to sue over alleged discrimination, a new interpretation of the law. The shift follows months of transsexual advocacy by this administration, including hosting the first-ever White House transgender summit.
President Obama had a transsexual nanny as a boy in Indonesia.
Liberal Christians have generally condemned the church desecration – and the church. Christian Piatt at the Sojourners website wrote the Angry Queers had “righteous anger,” but “such a response actually serves an opposite purpose from what I believe was intended.”
Chuck Currie, a local minister in the liberal United Church of Christ (UCC), wrote, “If Mars Hills Church represents the worst of Christianity, and I believe it sadly does, those responsible for this attack represent the worst of Portland.”
Lavinia Marks, who lives next door to the church, said, “Part of being liberal is being tolerant of everybody.”
But not everyone opposes the vandalism. “We support the action and stand in total solidarity!” said members of local LGBT activist groups Blow Pony and Homocult. “Mars Hill has not been trying to build relations with our community. Comparing homosexuality to cancer is not building relations!”
The church has refused to respond in kind or allow the violence to dampen their enthusiasm.
“A few piles of broken glass doesn’t change anything for us,” Pastor Smith wrote on his congregation’s FaceBook page. “Be encouraged, stay on the message, keep on the mission and I’ll see you this Sunday.”